Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and several members of the Legislature support the Republican Party’s push for “equal U.S. citizenship” to be extended to the three U.S. territories. Sponsored by U.S. Virgin Islands’ national committeeman Jevon Williams, the Republic National Committee last Friday adopted a resolution titled “Affirming Equal Citizenship for All Americans,” which is set to be submitted to U.S. President Donald J. Trump, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The resolution says U.S. citizens residing in the “territories of Guam, NMI, and the Virgin Islands,” regardless of their sex, race, color, ethnicity, religion or creed, are “entitled to the full of enjoyment of their citizenship.” Americans in U.S. territories are U.S. citizens but cannot vote for the U.S. President, nor do they have full representation in Congress.
The resolution calls for the U.S. Congress to “ensure that American citizens residing in the territories of Guam, NMI, and the Virgin Islands to have unfettered enjoyment of their American citizenship.” The resolution states that citizens residing in the territories should also enjoy the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, also known as the right of people to keep and bear arms.
When asked about the “equal U.S. citizenship” portion of the resolution, Torres said he has always supported the intent of the resolution even during his tenure as a Saipan senator, citing a past resolution introduced during his time at the Senate.